St. Louis Employment Law Cases
Read selected employment law cases litigated by the Law Offices of Thomas E. Kennedy III:
Marquitta McAfee, Draphy Durgins, Jeffrey Waters and Rory Stewart v. Marion Hubbard and East St. Louis Park District, No. 14-cv-01010 (S.D. Ill).
Ms. McAfee was sexually harassed by the Police Chief of the East St. Louis Park District. She was a lieutenant in the Park District’s police department and worked for more than a decade without incident. After Marion Hubbard was appointed Police Chief, he sexually harassed her by pressing his genitals against her back and making obscene comments to her and others. He then prevented her from returning to work at the Park District when she complained. Ms. McAfee and several other police officer are also suing the Park District in a collective class action under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Illinois labor law for unpaid wages. The Park District formerly had a policy of requiring its police officers to work without pay as “volunteers” as a condition of paying them for some of their shifts at work. For example, one officer was required to work a total of 53 hours in July 2013 but had to work 40 hours for free. Ms. McAfee is suing for damages. She and the other officers are suing on behalf of all Park District police officers for unpaid wages, overtime, and liquidated damages under federal and state law. The case is set for trial in July 2016.
Terryana Richardson v. Ronald Ike and City of East St. Louis, Illinois, No. 16-cv-065 (S.D. Ill.).
We represent Terryana Richardson, a young woman who worked for the Police Department of the City of East St. Louis as a summer intern in a youth employment program. On her first day on the job, she was asked to work with Ronald Ike, then the Asst. Police Chief. Ike took her to his office and sexually harassed her. Among other things, he rubbed his genitals against her shoulder and told her he expected to find her naked when her returned to his office After Ms. Richardson filed her complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights, the City disclosed that several other women in the Police Department had also been sexually harassed by Ronald Ike. Plaintiff is suing both Ike and the City of East St. Louis for damages. The case has not yet been set for trial.
Ingram v. Hagen, No. 14-cv-00792-MJR (S.D. Ill.).
We represent a woman who suffered sexual harassment and was not paid properly at a landscaping business in Clinton County. Her supervisor wrote her love letters and touched her inappropriately. He also classified her improperly as an independent contractor, didn’t issue a final paycheck, didn’t pay her for overtime, and sometimes didn’t pay her the minimum wage. When she quit, he had her arrested for alleged theft. These charges were later dismissed. We are seeking unpaid wages, damages, as well as punitive and liquidated damages on her behalf. Trial is set for December 2015.
Tesar v. Union R-XI Sch. Dist., et al., No. 15-cv-00943 (E.D. Mo.)
Our client was a teacher in a school district who became involved in a special education due process hearing involving one of her students. Some students had “class-within-a-class” services listed in their IEP’s, but the school district refused to provide these services at the beginning of the next school year. One parent filed a due process hearing request about the unilateral cessation of this service. The school district originally listed our client as one of its witnesses, then dropped her when she advised its attorney that she’d tell the truth. Then the student’s parent listed our client as a witness. Prior to the hearing, the school district and its attorney disclosed private and confidential information from our client’s personnel file to the parent and the hearing officer so it could use these documents to impeach her testimony at the upcoming hearing. We are seeking damages from our client for violation of the anti-retaliation provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as Missouri privacy law.
EEOC and Pamela Perry v. Comprehensive Behavioral Health Ctr. of St. Clair County, Inc., (S.D. Ill. 2012).
Our firm recently filed a Complaint in Intervention on behalf of Pamela Perry in an EEOC employment discrimination case in federal court in East St. Louis. Our client has multiple sclerosis. Ms. Perry was a mental health counselor with 23 yrs. of experience at the Center but was discharged after her employer denied her accommodations requests. She asked for a quiet work area, a dictation program (like Dragon Naturally Speaking) so she could dictate her case notes rather than handwrite them, and the right to wear tennis shoes at work instead of painful dress shoes. All of her requests were denied. She was replaced by a person with less experience who was a personal acquaintance of the Center’s director. Our client seeks reinstatement, back pay, and damages. The EEOC also seeks policy changes at the Center to require compliance with the ADA. No. 3:12-cv-01031-WDS-SCW.
Frazer et al. v. City of East St. Louis et al. (S.D. Ill. 2011).
In July 2011, a jury returned a verdict for our clients, two former members of the East St. Louis Fire and Police Board of Commissioners who were removed from their positions after opposing racial discrimination in the hiring of police officers in East St. Louis. The jury awarded compensatory damages and punitive damages in excess of what the plaintiffs sought. No. 3:09-cv-802-JPG-SCW.
Tarvin, et al., v. Board of Educ., East St. Louis Sch. Dist. No. 189, et al., (S.D. Ill. 2009).
Our clients are two precinct committeemen and a local union official who were employed by the school district as carpentry supervisor, and in-house detention coordinator and school security coordinator. They were demoted and suffered pay decreases because they supported candidates for school board other than those endorsed by the Democratic Party. This First Amendment retaliation case sought declaratory and injunctive relief and damages. After the District Court denied the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, the case was settled. No. 3:09-cv-655-GPM-CJP.
Bouas v. Board of Educ., Mascoutah Comm. U. Sch. Dist., Charge No. 19, (Illinois Human Rights Commission 2008):
This is an employment discrimination case against a school district which initially hired our client, a former police officer, then fired him from his campus monitor job when it learned that he received disability benefits. Our client sought reimbursement, back pay and reinstatement to the job. The case settled. Charge No. 560-2008-02929.